The Policies of the Presidentiables

The Policies of the Presidentiables during the Second Debate. Written by The SubSelfie Blog.

Here is a summary of the major policy points mentioned by the candidates during the second and third legs of the Presidential Debates held in Cebu and Pangasinan respectively. The candidates are listed below according to the alphabetical order of their surnames. Because Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was absent during the Cebu Debate, we included her positions which she posted on Twitter while the debate was ongoing.

VICE PRESIDENT JEJOMAR BINAY

  • Distinguishing the difference in contractualization schemes, one being “job only” and the other being the “independent contractors,” Binay said that what is clear is that every workers should receive statutory benefits.
  • To balance his promised income tax exemption on workers earning less than P30,000, he will go after agricultural smugglers who he said is costing the economy P250 billion. He also wants to sell government buildings.
  • He wants to up infrastructure spending. He’s going to do it by spending the money we already have, hitting the Aquino Administration’s underspending.
  • He wants to put a computer in every classroom, and wants to make every students’ needs free.
  • He said he will sign an Executive Order to institutionalize Freedom of Information.
  • Asked how he’ll fight drugs and crimes, VP Binay simply said his Cabinet members will be qualified and with a good understanding of the function. He said it while accusing former DILG Sec. Roxas of inexperience in local governance.
  • He’s willing to talk to China if only to let our fishermen work freely and without being harassed in our waters. He plans to put up a livelihood fund for the fishermen affected by the territorial dispute, and award free education and healthcare to their children.
  • To solve traffic, VP Binay plans to separate the DOTC. There will be a Department of Transportation and a different Department of Communication.
  • He promises to create a pension plan for OFWs, he also wants to remove the membership fee for OWWA. As adviser of OFW affairs in the Aquino Cabinet, Binay said there is an unapproved P100M legal assistance fund for OFWs. He promises to bring it back on the table when he becomes President.
  • He is not in favor of divorce and the revival of death penalty.
  • He is in favor of transferring Ferdinand Marcos Sr’s remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

SENATOR MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO

  • She vows to abolish contractualization and, like Senator Poe, is in favor of lowering corporate tax to encourage companies to end the “endo” scheme.
  • If she becomes President, she will certify the Freedom of Information Bill as urgent.
  • Sen. Santiago favors lowering both income and corporate tax to 25%.
  • She also supports the amendment of economic provisions in the constitution, if only to allow more foreign investors into the country.
  • She will give the Police and the Military bigger cuts in budget.
  • She will modernize irrigation, water impounding facilities, infrastructure, credit available for poor farmers and other technological advances in agriculture that other countries have already adopted.
  • She’s proposing to create a new alternative city near Clark, Pampanga to attempt to decongest Manila. The new city will have its own IT park and an educational center.
  • She wants to create an independent Department to enhance the capacity of government units to “prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from” disasters.
  • To solve traffic, she’s proposing to build a new railway system connecting Manila to the interconnected provinces like Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and an entirely new railway system connecting Manila to Sorsogon. She plans to get the budget from building infrastructure, strengthening manufacture and modernizing agriculture.
  • To enforce discipline on the road, she directs the LTO to make license application stricter.
  • Like VP Binay, Sen. Santiago also wants to put up a legal assistance fund for OFWs. She also wants the permanent return of overseas Filipinos and she says she will utilize being a member of the ASEAN Economic Community to build a robust economy.
  • She is also open to revisiting the EPIRA law.
  • She supports the shift to renewable energy.
  • She thinks there should be a “second level of diplomacy” in resolving the territorial dispute with China. She maintains in fighting China in an international platform, saying that “we have world public opinion behind us.”
  • She is the only one among the five candidates to favor divorce. But she states two grounds, only if: 1.) There is an attempt on the life of a spouse by the other, and 2.) If adultery or concubinage were committed.
  • She is in favor of reviving death penalty, but only for drug traffickers. She also said that the justice system should be improved.

DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE

  • On labor, he declared he will abolish contractualization, saying it is a “great injustice to the people of the Republic.”
  • While he’s not saying that coal is “right,” he acknowledges our need to industrialize. He said that as a developing nation, we need the power plants and the best we can do are “remedial measures.”
  • He doesn’t think it’s right that we’re committing so much to the UN when we are a developing nation that contributes so little to carbon emissions. He called both Al Gore and the UN “hypocrites” for not being able to hold rich countries accountable. He said that if we are to shift to clean energy like hydro and solar, UN should pay for them for us. “Mahal ‘yan e.” (Those are expensive.)
  • Duterte wants to end government monopoly on power, wants to open it to all players. “I guarantee you power will be cheaper.”
  • He sticks to a “wipe-out” policy in combating criminality. “May raid ng shabu sa Maynila, pati sa Davao, look what happened. ‘Yung sa Malabon, nahuli, buhay, ‘yung akin sa Davao hinuli, patay ang apat. I wipe out, I’m still wiping out.” (There was a drug raid in Manila, and in Davao. Look what happened, you arrested people in Malabon, they’re alive. In Davao, four people were dead. I wipe out, I’m still wiping out.)
  • Amid accusations of extrajudicial killings, he defended his tough approach to fighting crime and drugs. “Kung hindi ka marunong pumatay, at takot kang mamatay, hindi ka puwedeng maging Presidente.” (If you don’t know how to kill, and you’re afraid to die, you cannot be President.)
  • He said he will ask everybody (assuming that ‘everybody’ means all government officials) to waive their rights to bank secrecy, allowing the Anti Money Laundering Council to investigate their bank accounts. (Confronted with allegations that he has more than P200M in his bank account, Mayor Duterte has not signed a bank secrecy waiver.)
  • He claims he will not go to war with China, but when confronted, he says he will personally sail to the disputed territory, put up our flag and tell the Chinese “do what you want with me.”
  • To solve traffic, like Senator Santiago, Duterte plans to build new railways and he’s proposing the location to be “somewhere along Pasig River” so the government already has right of way.
  • He wants to create a department that will address to all of the needs of OFWs. He wants to put up a bank that will have branches all over the world dedicated only for the remittances of OFWs. He also wants to make it mandatory for the Consul General or Consul to keep track of the Filipinos abroad. All repatriation processes will be free, and hospitalization will be shouldered by the government.
  • He is not in favor of divorce.
  • He is in favor of reviving death penalty for drug-related crimes.
  • He is in favor of transfering Ferdinand Marcos Sr’s remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

SENATOR GRACE POE

  • On labor, Senator Poe said she will remove the “endo” or “End of Contract” scheme. Companies who will abide by the rule will be incentivized, one of which being a lower corporate tax.
  • While she thinks we need to modernize our military (which is already institutionalized via the AFP Modernization Act), when tension in Spratlys escalates to a war, she would still count on the Visiting Forces Agreement and other foreign military agreements to help fight China.
  • Just the same, she said she wants to buy surface to air missiles to help the military defend our sovereignty.
  • She also wants to buy more ships for the Coast Guard, and give every affected fishermen better equipment including satellite radio. Like VP Binay, Sen. Poe said she will award scholarships to the fishermen’s children.
  • In the current scheme of things, while awaiting the decision from the UN Arbitral Tribunal, she counts on ASEAN cooperation to counter China’s aggression.
  • She also thinks it’s important to lower corporate income tax to encourage investors.
  • While Roxas said he is open to revisiting the EPIRA Law, Poe, like Duterte, was direct in saying she wants to open power to all players, ending government monopoly.
  • She said she will explore the potential of wind and solar energy.
  • Citing the government monopoly on power, Sen. Poe said she is in favor of Charter Change at least in the economic provisions of the Constitution.
  • She supports the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, even added that local officials’ SALN should be scrutinized too.
  • She plans to combat criminality by appointing a Crime Czar, which she said will be Medal of Valor Awardee Col. Ariel Querubin.
  • If Binay’s insinuations prove to be true that the P70B coco levy funds are gone from the Treasury, Sen. Poe said she will replace that P70B from the P723B savings of the Aquino administration.
  • She said she will only sign the bill that will govern the distribution of coco levy funds if representatives from the agricultural sector are consulted.
  • She supports bigger funding for the Philippine Coconut Authority.
  • Sen. Poe alluded to a better disaster risk reduction and management policy, but was short of mentioning concrete measures to achieve it. Her example being the use of satellite phones instead of mobile phones during disasters.
  • She vows to finish ongoing projects like the Luzon Skyway and the North Luzon Connector Road. She promises to put into action projects like MRT extension to Bulacan and LRT extension to Cavite and PNR extension to Dagupan.
  • She will appoint a Traffic Secretary, “someone with an engineering background,” whose only job is to monitor all traffic-related projects.
  • She wants to give OFWs “portable PhilHealth Cards” that they can use anywhere in the world. She wants to initiate bilateral talks with OFW countries like Saudi Arabia to protect the interests of Filipino workers. But most importantly, Senator Poe said she wants to prepare an economy that would welcome those who want to come home for good.
  • She said she will prohibit family members and relatives from entering into government dealings.
  • She is not in favor of divorce.
  • She is in favor or reviving death penalty for “heinous and multiple crimes.”

FORMER DILG SECRETARY MAR ROXAS

  • To remove the “end of contract” or “endo” scheme among laborers, Roxas said he will direct the passing of a new and stronger law that will declare the scheme illegal. (Contractualization is currently allowed by law)
  • Roxas also proposes to add more incentives to eco zones;  he said building more infrastracture and transport modes will encourage job-creating companies to enter our market.
  • He will support grassroots government by intensifying the BUB or the Bottom Up Budgeting, a mechanism that provides funds for all 42,000 barangays.
  • He supports President Aquino’s decision to create an Executive Order to distribute the coco levy funds. Sen. Poe sticks to the Supreme Court ruling that it should be a law, and not an EO, that will govern the distribution of coco levy funds.
  • Roxas vows to continue the PNP’s “Lambat-Sibat” policy, which includes a blotter-based database of crime reports and adding more patrol cops to roam the streets.
  • He is willing to revisit the tax code to increase workers’ take home pay.
  • According to Roxas, the best gift to OFWs will be to create an economy that will allow Filipinos to go home and continue work here.
  • He wants to revisit EPIRA Law.
  • He sticks to the Aquino plan of resolving the dispute with China: continue arbitration and defend sovereignty through international court.
  • As with the Aquino government, Roxas promises to lead the shift to clean energy by incentivizing it. He reinforces Philippines’ commitment to the UN to fight Climate Change.
  • In the issue of solving, he boasted of projects started under the Aquino government: addition of trains who he said will reach 144 at the end of each year, and LRT extension to Cavite and Laguna.
  • He also plans to overhaul the bus system; buses will no longer be owned by different companies, instead will belong to one franchise to be bid out by the government.
  • Contesting VP Binay’s plan to separate the DOTC, Roxas said he will even merge the DOTC and the DPWH, citing studies that apparently show engineering projects are more efficient when one agency is planning and implementing them.
  • He supports the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, even without the provision of the Right to Reply.
  • He is not in favor of divorce.
Luchi Cruz-Valdez of TV5 moderating the presidential candidates.
Luchi Cruz-Valdez of TV5 moderating the presidential candidates.

[Entry 127, The SubSelfie Blog]

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